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Europe – Asia Center

Press release: “Tea For Harmony – Yaji Cultural Salon” Unveils the Splendor of Chinese Tea Culture in Copenhagen

Copenhagen – June 14th, 2023

On June 14th 2023, the “Tea for Harmony: Yaji Cultural Salon” was inaugurated at the China Cultural Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. The exhibition was organized in collaboration between the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, the Chinese Embassy in Denmark, the China Cultural Center in Copenhagen and the Europe-Asia Center. Presented under the special theme of “Tea for Hygge,” the event captivated the audience by a showcase of delightful flavors of Chinese tea heritage and a tranquil atmosphere creating a true comfort of Hygge.

In his opening address, Mr. RUI Hong, Deputy Secretary of the Party Group and Deputy Director-General (Director-General level) of the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism extended a warm welcome to all the distinguished guests present at the event. He highlighted the long standing history of tea and tea craftmanship to the province of Zhejiang, one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization. Zhejiang prides itself on the “traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices in China”, which have been included as one of the first on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Mr RUI Hong furthermore exemplified how country such as Denmark successfully combines tradition with modernity, and flagships the rich humanistic legacy with naming only the example of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales that continue inspiring generations, including the Chinese. He noted that Denmark’s unique cultural atmosphere with the “Just, Clear, Harmonious, and Elegant” has a strong resemblance with the Chinese tea culture and how such exchanges might serve as a bridge, promoting cultural exchanges between China and Europe.

Mr. RUI Hong, Deputy Secretary of the Party Group and Deputy Director-General (Director-General level) of the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism

Mr. RUI Hong, Deputy Secretary of the Party Group and Deputy Director-General of the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism

Coinciding with the 73rd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Denmark, as well as the 15th anniversary of the China-Denmark comprehensive strategic partnership, Mr. HE Fuxiang, Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Denmark highlighted China’s long history of tea. He raised the example of warm welcome guests receive by Chinese people’s showcase of tea and unique tea culture. Whether in ancient times through the Silk Road or in today’s globalized world, Chinese tea serves as a link between the Chinese people and the world. He warmly invited Danish friends to visit Zhejiang and experience its breathtaking landscapes, while calling for enhanced cooperation between China and Denmark in various fields through the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative.

Tea for Harmony

Tea for Harmony – official opening of the exhibition

The inauguration event was also joined by His Excellency Erik Solheim, Vice-Chairman of the Europe-Asia Center, who in his address mentioned the fascination Europe had about advanced China already in the time of Marco Polo’s explorations. He emphasized Zhejiang’s tea culture’s historical importance and influence, particularly during the Song Dynasty, which played a pivotal role in trade, culture, and cuisine. Sharing his personal memories of visiting Zhejiang in the past, and recognizing the impressive development of cities and infrastructure, tourism growth, and transformative changes taking place in China, Excellency Solheim expressed his confidence in Zhejiang’s future as a globally recognized ecotourism destination.

H.E. Erik Solheim - Vice-chairman of the Europe - Asia Center

H.E. Erik Solheim – Vice-chairman of the Europe – Asia Center

Mr. Flemming Bruun, CEO of the Danish National Tourism Office, recognized the enormous potential for international cultural and tourism development in China. He emphasized the significant impact of Chinese tourists on the Danish tourism industry and economic growth, expressing his strong desire to strengthen cultural and tourism exchanges between the two nations and the Danish National Tourism Office’s enthusiastic commitment to actively contribute to this endeavor.

In his speech, Mr. ZHENG Wen, Director of the China Cultural Center in Copenhagen, highlighted the essence of nature, communication, and mutual understanding that is inherent in the act of drinking tea. He explained that the term “Yaji” refers to the ancient gatherings where literati and scholars enjoyed tea, appreciated the moon, recited poetry, and engaged in intellectual discussions. Mr. Zheng extended a warm invitation to friends from all spheres of life in Denmark, inviting them to embark on a spontaneous journey to visit Zhejiang.

Mr. ZHENG Wen, Director of the China Cultural Center in Copenhagen

Mr. ZHENG Wen, Director of the China Cultural Center in Copenhagen

The event commenced with an enchanting “Water-sleeve” dance, performed by the exceptional artists of the Zhejiang Xiaobaihua Yue Opera Troupe. Artists also performed an excerpt from the Yue opera “The Butterfly Lovers – The Eighteen Miles Farewell,” which left a lingering impression on the audience. Rounding the event, the audience was able to enjoy a promotional video showcasing the unique cultural and tourism features of Zhejiang as well as the highlight performance of the evening, with a performance of the Zhejiang folk song “Tea Picking Dance” (in arrangement for traditional instruments of zhongruan, flute, erhu, and guitar). The musical performance offered a glimpse of the enchanting early spring scenery of Jiangnan and celebrating the artistry and lives of tea farmers.

Magnificent artistry of Zhejiang Xiaobaihua Yue Opera Troupe performing the “Water-sleeve” dance

About the exhibition

The exhibition, themed “Tea for Hygge” was comprised of five major sections: “Hygge of Color”, “Hygge of Fragrance”, “Hygge of Melody,” “Hygge of Scrolls” and “Hygge of Creation.” These sections artfully embodied the unique tea experience cherished by the Chinese people. “Hygge of Colors” presented the ever-changing hues of tea, complemented by exquisite tea utensils. “Hygge of Fragrance” focused on showcasing diverse tea aromas. “Hygge of Melody” used digital devices to showcase classical tea poetry and music. “Hygge of Scrolls” displayed ancient and contemporary tea books from China and around the world, while “Hygge of Creation” exhibited creatively designed tea derivatives, including innovative tea wares, tea snacks, tea beverages, and various other categories. Danish tea culture expert and human physiology expert Mr. Marcus Udsen Grandjean was invited to accompany the guests and provide an in-depth reflections of tea knowledge.

For press enquiries:

Matic Gajšek, Deputy director Europe – Asia Center


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